Stewart's Converting Five Recently Purchased Wilson Farms Sites

Locations among those not acquired by 7-Eleven

By 
Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Stewart's Shops Inc. is planning to remodel or rebuild five Wilson Farms and Sugarcreek convenience stores in upstate New York that it purchased after the sites were put up for sale in 2012--in Watertown, Heuvelton, Potsdam, Lake Placid and Keeseville, reported The Watertown Daily Times.

The stores were not among the stores that Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc. picked up when it acquired Wilson Farms in April 2011. 7-Eleven spokesperson Margaret Chabris told CSP Daily News, "We have rebranded 166 of the original 188 locations." She would not provide additional details on the conversion process.

In Watertown, Stewart's Shops is demolishing the former Sugarcreek store to make room for a larger store and gas station, said the report.

The company plans to demolish the 1,700-square-foot structure in the fall, after the plan is approved by the city, to build a 3,384-square-foot Stewart's Shop at the site. It expects the store to be open by November, Charles J. Marshall, real-estate representative for Stewart's Shops, told the newspaper.

"Stewart's is a neighborhood store, and we're literally in the middle of a huge neighborhood here," Marshall said. "We try to simplify things here, and our reputation is known for milk, bread, ice cream and dairy products."

Marshall said Stewart's is not planning to close any of the stores, but it is planning additions for a few of the locations to allow walk-in coolers and freezers.

"The first week we let the transition happen," he said, adding they then began rolling out small changes such as offering Stewart's brand products and ice cream, including the make-your-own sundae bar for which Stewart's is known.

A Wilson Farms/Sugarcreek store in Gouverneur not purchased by Stewart's remains open; an employee told the paper that the store would close April 18 for a transitional period before reopening under new ownership. The employee said he understands stores closed in Potsdam and Norwood are not part of the new owner's plans and are likely to remain closed.

In other company news, Stewart's Shop is building a new store in North Galway, N.Y., that it said is scheduled to open in mid May. It will be 3,300-square-foot store with six gasoline pumps, a sandwich station for fresh food to go, a beer cave and two restrooms.

The company provided a video and slideshow update on the construction.

Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Stewart's Shops is an employee- and family-owned dairy c-store chain. It is known for milk, ice cream, coffee, food to go, gasoline and more. There are approximately 330 Stewart's Shops located in more than 30 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont.